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Author Topic: Field Day generator obsevations.  (Read 41414 times)

Posts: 12622

« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2012, 02:27:53 PM »

I have a question regarding synthetic oils and the ongoing "spash" debate in this thread.  I'm interested in this as I use Mobil1 in my Honda EG6500 generator with a 13HP single cylinder engine, and want to be sure that I'm caring for it in the correct manner.

I would not worry about a honda motor. I am sure they are like Briggs Vangaurd engines which are built by Toyota which recommend synthetic oil. I would break it in on conventional oil though and change it in 5 hrs an then use synthetic.

I have heard this wife's tail about synthetic oil leaking from a car as being the norm if it is above about 40K...  I suspect it is the detergent in the M1 which cleaned things up really well, thus leaving lots of little gaps that engine gunk was clogging, thus allowing the M1 to escape...  

It is because synthetic oils has slippery long chain molecules that can sneak past seals older seal broken in on conventional oil and loosen their grip. Modern conventional oil has a very high detergent base and will keep a engine clean with frequent changes. I have a 23 year old SUV with 200k on it and it has had mobile one since first oil change and it still does not leak. Many people have put synthetic oil in older cars with mixed results. Best thing for them is conventional oil and frequent changes. I have two 4cyl cars with 175k plus on them and they have always had conventional oil and both are going strong with minimal oil usage. 

Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..

Posts: 6252

« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2012, 05:00:51 AM »

For what it is worth, here is an experience I had using M1 oil in a car...

Car had about 75K miles on it...  Switched from "normal" oil to synthetic, Mobile 1, (M1).  After about 300 miles the car began leaking oil like a sieve...  Dumped about a quart in the first 300 miles...  I did a quick change and went back to "normal" oil, and the problem continued for the next 15K miles, then tapered off to about a quart every 3K miles...  Prior to this the car was not leaking oil.  It is still leaking a bit more than it ever did, but the mileage is now pushing around 125K.  It needs a half quart about every 3000 miles now...  The engine has always had oil changes on a correct schedule, and in most cases more often.  It was leaking no oil prior to the use of M1.  

I have heard this wife's tail about synthetic oil leaking from a car as being the norm if it is above about 40K...  I suspect it is the detergent in the M1 which cleaned things up really well, thus leaving lots of little gaps that engine gunk was clogging, thus allowing the M1 to escape...  

This is a guess on my part, but it seems to fit the data...  I have no idea how it will react in a newer generator engine, but thought I would pass this along...  Hopefully someone who knows more than I about cars/generators, and oil will pipe up and address this question...

The valve guides/seals and piston rings in a car engine wear from day one.  Makers of conventional oils use additives that take this into account and provide protection for it.  Once you switch to a synthetic oil, however, these additives are washed away by the different additives of that oil and can never be fully restored--even if you switch back to conventional oil.  True, the conventional oil additives will start to redeposit the additives that maintain the seal effect, but can never fully restore them.

I've got an eighteen year old car that uses oil too--a simple thing like going to the next heavier grade of oil (from a 5W-20 to a 10W-30) reduced that to a tolerable level.  Instead of a quart every 800 to 1000 miles or so, it's at least doubled.  Now I only have to add one quart of oil between changes instead of two or three.  I change oil every 3500 to 4000 miles because the majority of my driving with that car is in city.


Posts: 12622

« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2012, 06:18:31 AM »

The "trick" to keeping a older car or engine alive is frequent oil changes, not synthetic oil. Older motors have more blow-by and get oil dirty sooner and requires more frequent changes. I have always used the 3.000 mile rule with cars. Sometimes a little less older cars if it is looking dirty or sometimes a little more on a newer car when using conventional oil.  With synthetic oil i will go up to 5,000 miles sometimes but sooner if it looks dirty. As a result in 44 years of driving I have never worn a engine out. With power equipment and generators it is some times easy to loose track of changes especially in a generator with a single cylinder air cooled engine. In these the oil not only lubes but also helps cool engine and it runs very hot and has a hard life. With conventional oil you really need to change oil every 25 hrs or basically once a day when running 24/7. Many do not bother and that is why they may have engine problems later. With synthetic oil you can safely double change interval or a bit more if engine is tight.

Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..

Posts: 1956


« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2012, 06:33:33 AM »

I always wondered why M1 and other synthetic oils leaked...  Thank you all!

For reviews and setups see:

Posts: 84

« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2012, 03:16:01 AM »

FIELD DAY GENSET: I contacted Northern Tool and bought a 6.5 kw tri-fuel genset carrying their name powered by a Honda engine.  Runs on gasoline, propane, or natural gas.  I like the power and fuel flexibility.  Yep - not cheap but sure does run my hf stuff including an amplifier: a pair of 3-500 in grounded grid 1,200 watts cw.  Genset produces 120 and 240 vac.  Spins up my water well pump without a pause.  Sometimes on-the-cheap is not the best way to go.  If you need to start a water well pump in an emergency the gypo gensets will let you down.

Posts: 568

« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2013, 06:09:29 PM »

I believe in having more than one source. I have a 3600 watt generator with a 44 gallon fuel tank in my toy hauler that I will pull to a site when I can. I also have a 12 year old generator, 5 K that always runs with no problems. It has been well maintained.

For smaller loads, my Chicom 800 watt works pretty darn good.

Lastly, 4 deep cycle batteries, a bank of solar panels and a smaller homemade wind generator, some poles that screw togather and guy wires.

Between all of these, I have power one way or another.

I uses premium gas and fuel stabilizer, change it out about every 6 months and have always done frequent oil changes using quality regulaer oil. Keep the filters clean and check voltage and frequency from time to time in case one of them is off.

It all takes a little time to maintain everything, but has paid off with power outages we have had and worry free camping.

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